This past semester, some of my colleagues and I at the Intensive English Institute participated in a book club. We read a wonderful book---What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain (2004). I had actually started to read this independently, and then I realized how much better it would be if I could relate it to language teaching by discussing it with others in the TESOL field.
Several chapters gave me lots to chew on---but one area that I'm really still puzzled about is student motivation. Bain points to the research of Deci, Richard, and deCharms that suggests that if students suspect any sort of manipulation due to external reward, they might lose interest. But, at the same time, he mentions that without external motivation, intrinsic fascination might also diminish. According to Bain, the most successful educators he has worked with aim to avoid extrinsic motivators and instead work to develop intrinsic motivators for students.Read More